2018 Spring Cycling Gear Guide

Marc Lindsay
by Marc Lindsay
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2018 Spring Cycling Gear Guide

Getting rid of your old cycling gear and updating your closet with a few new items can be a great way to improve your comfort, style and performance. For those of you ready for spring update, check out these new items that will keep you cool and feeling strong.


Known for its high-quality racing gear, the newly redesigned Mille GT jersey and bibshorts from Assos features a relaxed, comfortable fit at a reasonable price. While it is the company’s entry-level kit, you still get the same durable, well-made cycling clothing Assos has become known for in its higher-end products. Among the notable features are the Stripe textile used in the jersey for better breathability in hot weather and a free-float chamois insert in the shorts that is by far one of the most comfortable you will ever own.


Breathable cycling helmets with lots of vents can leave your head exposed to the sun. This cap from Pearl Izumi solves that problem by protecting your head and face from the sun and rain while still keeping you cool thanks to the P.R.O Thermal Dry fabric and the In-R-Cool lining. The short bill also won’t obstruct your view, which can be a problem when wearing a cycling cap underneath your helmet.


Whether you’re riding around town or enjoying a Sunday afternoon at the park, these sunglasses from Under Armour are a stylish addition. On the bike, they’re lightweight and designed to fit comfortably and securely despite the casual look. ArmourSight lenses offer top-of-the-line optical clarity, while the Multiflection coating prevents scratches, smudges and glare from the sun.



Airy, cool and lightweight, Oakley’s new lineup of helmets is perfect for the warmer spring and summer months. What we like most about the ARO 3, though, is how easily most sunglasses fit beneath the helmet and the garage that makes it easy to store your glasses on top of the helmet when you don’t need them. The newly included Boa dial design provides a secure 360-degree closure that’s easy to micro adjust for a comfortable fit no matter your head shape. The included MIPS lining provides an extra level of protection from side impact should you happen to take a spill.


With the cost of high-end cycling shoes creeping up into the $400 range, the newly updated Velocis is a breath of fresh air for its combination of pro-level performance and comfort at a mid-range price. The carbon composite sole is stiff without causing hot spots or pain after hours on the bike, and the perforated uppers breathe well when the temperatures rise. The Boa IP1 dial makes it easy to dial in your fit on and off the bike while the InForm Pro make for an ergonomically comfortable pedaling motion.

Technical Tee ($75) & Cargo Bibshort ($270)

Who said you need to wear a jersey to ride your bike? For those of you looking for a little less serious of a look for your on and off-road adventures, the new Explore collection from Rapha just might be what you’re looking for. The technical tee is stylish, comfortable and breathable enough for spring or summer cycling, and the slightly looser fit will have you asking why you ever opted for a cycling jersey in the first place.

To combat the no pockets for your gear problem, Rapha pairs the tee with its new Cargo bibshort, which features rear and side pockets to store your stuff. The shorts are also extremely well-made and feature a water-resistant material so you can ride in any weather spring happens to throw your way.


While it won’t come cheap, POC’s new Ventral Spin helmet might be the fastest, most breathable aero road helmet to date. It’s so speedy, in fact, it has become Cannondale-Drapac’s professional cycling team’s go-to helmet for just about every occasion. While we’re all into decreasing turbulence and creating longer linear airflow to cheat your miles per hour, it’s POC’s continued pursuit of safety that’s most exciting. The Spin part of the Ventral is the company’s patent-pending rotational impact protection system, which is designed to minimize the effects of oblique falls by limiting forces transmitted to the head and brain during impact.


Velocio’s Fly Design solves bibshort bathroom difficulties for women, and those uncomfortable straps on the front of the chest have made it one of the most popular options for women looking for the performance benefits of bibshorts. The new ultralight model is even more breathable than the original, and after receiving feedback from consumers, Velocio has removed the rear zipper and redesigned the rear to improve comfort while still making it possible to use the restroom mid-ride without having to remove your jersey.


The trend of a larger cycling lens isn’t all for fashion. The Bolle B Rock offers additional protection from the sun, wind and debris while also improving the overall field of vision in aggressive riding positions. What we like about this new design is how well it fits your face and the clarity of the B-clear NXT lens, which can also be switched out easily for a different tint and is available in prescription.


Saddlebags aren’t for everyone. For those of you looking for a minimalist approach to carrying your spare tube and tools, the Road Bandit from Specialized might be for you. The patented Road Tube Spool is extremely compact and easy to access when a tool is a needed. The one-strap design securely holds one tube, a CO2 cartridge and nozzle and a tire lever.


Make no mistake, the PRO Leader V4 from Pearl Izumi is a pro-level shoe. While last year’s model was touted as one of the fastest and most efficient at transferring power to the pedals in the pro peloton, the 2018 edition is lighter, stiffer and more breathable. But where the PRO Leader V4 surpasses many of its rivals in the shoe game is its extremely low stack height of just 5 millimeters — putting the ball of your foot about as close to the pedal as possible for an ultra-efficient pedal stroke and minimal loss of power. And while this might seem like it would decrease comfort, the design of the foot bed and the seamless upper eliminates hot spots and pinching extremely well, even after hours on the bike. Dual Boa dials allow for a secure, comfortable fit that’s easy to adjust on the fly.


For those slightly cooler spring mornings when you need a little more than bibshorts to stay warm, these 3/4 tights from Under Armour are durable and provide good freedom of movement during the pedaling motion. The design also keeps the seams away from high abrasion areas to reduce chafing, while the UA compression keeps your legs feeling fresh as the miles pile up. When temperatures begin to warm, mesh side panels deliver strategic ventilation when needed, and the HeatGear fabric wicks away moisture to keep you dry and comfortable on the bike.

About the Author

Marc Lindsay
Marc Lindsay

Marc is a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona. He holds a master’s degree in writing from Portland State University and is a certified physical therapy assistant. An avid cyclist and runner of over 20 years, Marc contributes to LAVA, Competitor and Phoenix Outdoor magazines. He is the former cycling editor for Active.com.


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